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One of the things I love about doing theater photography is that I frequently get opportunities I never would have sought out. In fact, I can directly credit the 14/48 festival as being the event which inspired me to start shooting the Shadow Series (about which more later). Working with Annex has allowed me to take pictures of gun-toting nuns, duck-billed belles, and glistening, rippling superheroes. The opportunities are almost always interesting, and often go in directions I never would have anticipated.

One such opportunity occurred in January last year, when I was invited to shoot at 14/48 for the first time. 14/48 is a theater festival in which a group of participants is gathered together on a Thursday night, introduced to each other, and told what the theme is. Given the theme, the writers go home to write a 10 minute play for an assigned number of actors, which will be delivered by 8 am the next day. That Friday morning, the directors and designers gather, and directors pick a script from an array of unmarked envelopes. Designers have, by this point, already been poring over their copies of the scripts, quietly discussing what needs to be built, borrowed or bodged together for the shows. At 10 am, actors show up, and directors pick names out of a hat to cast their shows. They go off and start rehearsing, with a performance that night at 8 pm and again 10:30 pm. It is honestly a completely ridiculous, yet completely compelling process. Some of the performances are flat or silly or flops, but some are hilarious or sublime or move you to tears.

Over the course of photographing 14/48 (which I’ve done twice now, and hope to do many more times), I have occasionally come up with some very good shots. For today, here’s one of them.